Training Course in Mobile Data Collection using ONA



Mobile Data Collection using Ona

Ona is a set of tools that are used for field data collection using android mobile phones (Devices) and allows data submission to an online or cloud server. These tools include Ona Form Builder, XLSForms, Ona Cloud based survey data hosting, Enketo Forms for web based data collection and ODK Collect for data collection on Android mobile devices.

Ona is part of a larger collection of mobile data collection tools that were inspired by the ODK Open Rosa Consortium.  The other too include ODK Collect,ODK Build, XLSForm, ODK Aggregate and ODK Manage as the major components. Other tools in the ODK ecosystem include ODK Briefcase, ODK Aggregate VM, ODK XLSForm Converter, ODK Validate, GEOODK, ODK Scanner, ODK Printers and the ODK Sensor Framework.

Other tools that were inspired by the ODK ecosystem include but not limited to: Kobo tool box which is also free and open source, and Survey CTO which have a free trial period and a premium version with added functionalities and unlimited survey data storage capacity.

Other commonly used mobile data collection tools include CSPro for android (CS Entry), Magpi (Regular data collection and also supports SMS data Collection), fulcrum, mobenzi, visitbasis, dimagi, zapier amongst many others.

This training course will teach learners how to author surveys, field mobile data collection applications, and submit data to an online server in The course will also mention the other mobile data collection tools available.

If you have always wanted to learn how to collect, manage, visualize and analyze project field data using mobile phones and devices, this training course is for you.


Data collection have always been an integral part of development work. In the past, these tasks were performed with paper and pen, which made them prone to error, difficult to conduct on a large scale, and high in transaction costs.

ICT tools such as mobile devices and software that allows users to create surveys, collect, manage and upload data to storage facilities in real-time, have reduced the conventional challenges associated with remote data collection.

If you have always wanted to learn how to collect, manage and analyze project data using mobile devices, this training course is for you. This training course also comes with an additional GIS module to help participants put the skills acquired into perspective. The GIS module will help participants work with spatial data.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for people who want to learn how to:

  • Author/Digitize surveys in Ona
  • Author/Digitize surveys in XLSForms
  • Setup and account in
  • Get familiar with the Ona platform
  • Collect data on Mobile devices using the Ona Platform
  • Collect data on any web browser
  • Setup, manage and administer a mobile data collection system in
  • Manage external/enumerators
  • Learn and apply best practices in mobile data collection setup and administration
  • Collect Geo data and develop maps using QGIS
  • Manage, visualize and analyze data on the Ona platform
  • Extract/export data from Ona in useful formats such as KML, csv, Json and others for analysis
  • Learn how to consume the Ona API external applications.
  • Learn about other similar mobile data collection tools and technologies


This training is designed for participants who are reasonably proficient in English and have an understanding of basic ICT concepts.


5 Days

Course objectives

The course will teach leaners how to implement a mobile data collection platform using

At the end of the course, learners will be able to setup, implement, manage and administer a mobile data collection application using the platform and develop maps using QGIS. Additionally, learners will be exposed to other available mobile data collection platforms.

Course content

Module I

Introduction to the course

  • ICT refresher
  • Introduction to mobile data collection systems architecture.
  • Introduction to common mobile based data collection tools, techniques and platform.
  • Benefits of mobile data collection.
  • Challenges of Mobile Based Data Collection.
  • Best Practices.

Module II

Introduction to Survey Authoring/Digitization

  • Introduction to xlsforms syntax for survey authoring – Digitizing questionnaires/instruments for Ona using xlsforms.

Intermediate Survey Authoring/Digitization

  • Intermediate survey authoring: Digitizing questionnaires for Ona using xlsforms.

Advanced Survey Authoring/Digitization

  • Advanced survey authoring: Digitizing questionnaires for ODK using xlsforms.
  • Questionnaire logic.
  • Xlsforms troubleshooting
  • Converting xlsforms to XML
  • XML forms validation

Hand-on Exercise

Module III

Survey Authoring Using the Ona Form Builder

Hand-on Exercise

Module IV

Data Collection, management, visualization, analysis and extraction using ona

  • Device setup and calibration
  • Data management using
  • Data visualization using
  • Data analysis using
  • Maps in
  • Chats
  • Extracting/Exporting data for analysis
  • Platform administration

Hand-on Exercise

Module V (GIS)

Spatial Mapping

  • Introduction to GIS
  • Working with Spatial data (GPS Coordinates)
  • Exporting GPS Coordinates (Google maps) to Fusion tables
  • Exporting data to Fusion tables using QGIS
  • Converting data to shape files
  • Developing maps

Hand-on Exercise

Discussion on the Choice of Platform

Integrating Mobile Data Collection tools into projects

Also Read: Training Course in Statistical Data management, Analysis and interpretation using R

Tailor-made courses

This training course can also be tailored for your organization. This way, your organization will benefit by: 

  • Using own datasets and tools during the training.
  • Being able to choose areas of interest you wish the trainer to put more emphasis on.
  • Taking the course in-house or at a venue of choice.
  • Cutting on the cost of transport and accommodation.


Participants should be reasonably proficient in English.  

Training fee

The course fee covers the course tuition, training materials, two break refreshments, lunch, and study visits.

All participants will additionally cater for their, travel expenses, visa application, insurance, and other personal expenses.


Accommodation is arranged upon request. For reservations contact us below.

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: +254 706909947

Training Fees

The course fee is KES 75,000.00 or USD 1,100.00 exclusive of VAT. The course fees covers the course tuition, training materials, two (2) break refreshments, lunch and study visits. Participants will cater for their travel and accommodation costs.


Payment should be transferred to bank before commencement of training.

Send proof of payment to Email: [email protected]


Kindly visit this link to see video and photo testimonials of our previous training events.  


Need more information? Kindly visit this link to see answers to frequently asked questions.

Other related Services

We also offer the services below upon request.

  1. Ona Training Manual
  2. Ona training pdf guide
  3. Ona training course
  4. Ona online training
  5. Collect training  (For enumerators)

Kindly contact us via the details below for more information:

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: +254 706 909947